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Cooking in the winter for me consists of the obvious — braises, soups, stews and casseroles. I look for any reason I can to heat up the kitchen. But January does present some frustration as my resolutions to eat healthy and cut some calories interferes with my desire to eat hearty. So, I’ve been seeking other ways to satisfy the craving and the calorie cutting. One surefire way is fish.

I used to not cook fish at home. Results were never satisfying and the house ended up smelling fishy. I saved my fish consumption for my favorite seafood restaurant. The exception was salmon, in that’s it’s just so easy and no-fail for me as I pan roast it for a few minutes and it’s done. But other fish varieties seemed more tricky and offered very little return for my time or my money.

But once I decided to grow up and show up at the seafood counter with confidence and determination, I’m cooking fish at home at least twice a week. I’ve discovered that there are some great frozen varieties available that are affordable and ideal for a simple meal, branzino and cod are two of my favorites. A good recipe also helps.

For instance, this recipe for a Mediterranean-style roasted cod with lemon and olives suits my style and cravings perfectly. The fish goes in a baking dish along with some white wine and lemon juice, which serves as a sauce. You can use most thicker cut types of fish here, halibut, swordfish and even salmon, and the results are always a tender and flaky dish. Plus, now that my Meyer lemon tree is in full fruit, I need recipes to put those lemons to good use.

Use any variety olives you desire. I had some buttery Castelvetrano olives on hand and they were wonderful with the capers and lemons. Even better, dinner was on the table in 30 minutes.

KLawson@detroitnews.com

KateLawson14@twitter.com

Cod with Lemon and Olives

Adapted from Real Simple.

3/4- 1 pound cod fillets

11/4 cup white wine

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 cup assorted olives of your choice

2 tablespoons capers, drained

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4-1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place fish in a casserole dish and drizzle with wine and lemon juice. Scatter the olives and capers around the fish, then sprinkle everything with the salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and zest.

Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 20-30 minutes until the fish flakes and is done through. The exact time will depend on your oven, and the thickness of your fish. The fish is done when it is opaque throughout, and flakes when you cut it open. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 2.

Per serving: 449 calories; 22 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 44 percent calories from fat); 8 g carbohydrates; 1 g sugar; 94 mg cholesterol; 1,055 mg sodium; 40 g protein; 3 g fiber.

Cod with Lemon

and Olives

Adapted from Real Simple.

3/4-1 pound cod fillets

1 1/4 cup white wine

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 cup assorted olives of your choice

2 tablespoons capers, drained

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4-1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place fish in a casserole dish and drizzle with wine and lemon juice. Scatter the olives and capers around the fish, then sprinkle everything with the salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and zest.

Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 20-30 minutes until the fish flakes and is done through. The exact time will depend on your oven, and the thickness of your fish. The fish is done when it is opaque throughout, and flakes when you cut it open. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 2

Per serving: 449 calories; 22 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 44 percent calories from fat); 8 g carbohydrates; 1 g sugar; 94 mg cholesterol; 1,055 mg sodium; 40 g protein; 3 g fibers

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